Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • Wilderness Walk: Was It A Failure Or Not?

    Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
    Thomas Williams

    Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.

    That's Wild

    • In a scathing column that pulled no punches, The Athletic's Joe Smith counterpoints Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin saying that this season was not actually a failure, by stating that regardless of any other successes, another first-round loss counts as a failure. What say you? [The Athletic]
    • Speaking of Guerin, it was his roster construction and dependency on role players to play above what was expected that ended up failing his star players like Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy. [Hockey Wilderness]
    • And another thing on Guerin: He used octane booster when the Wild needed premium gas. [Hockey Wilderness]
    • It might be the question we ask ourselves all summer long, but where do Marco Rossi and Calen Addison fit with this team? [Pioneer Press]

    Off the trail...

    • Elsewhere, let's dive into what we have seen and what we have learned about some teams in the playoffs so far. [ESPN]
    • Recently retired P.K. Subban is taking heat for Lizzo joke. [Yahoo Sports]
    • Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy said he struggled with the major workload he had this season. [NBC Sports]

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    Was this season a failure? I can't see how anyone would consider it a failure. I would give an F grade for the playoffs, but that is only a unit grade at this point. There were plenty of successes, the best of which was making it there as a 3rd seed. Finding a battery mate for The Wall was another success.  The team overachieved again showing its sum is greater than its parts. 

    But, what ultimately is going to decide the grade on this season is where each fan was at the beginning of the season. If you didn't expect much from the team to begin with, it's very hard to give them below a B. If you expected a deep playoff run, one more chance before the next 2 season of cap constraints, then, you'd probably be in the F category.

    I thought Boldy developed nicely, but it wasn't until he had a running mate that he took off. I'd have to say we still came up empty finding another C besides Ek. For the year, I'd think that Rossi was an F, Steel was a C-, and by not giving Dewar a try up the lineup, that would be a D on the coaching staff. 

    Walker and Beckman both looked closer but not ready yet. Our young D in Iowa did not seem to improve well enough, probably one reason why Army & Co. weren't renewed. I do believe that Guerin's got to look at the player development side of things and ask himself some hard questions there. Do we have the right people in charge of that? I don't believe so, and I'd want to see Koivu, and Housley step in at those positions, probably with even more help. Both of those guys would certainly have the respect of the kids, more so than the guys there now. The guys there now were just guys. The ones I'm suggesting were producers. 

    Shooter has his work cut out for him. He's got to figure out a way to solve the center problem on this team. We've got to pivot from the past 3 seasons of positionless hockey and bring in some guys who can really play C. He needs to come up with 2 Cs, one of which is a top 6 guy with little money to throw at them. This likely means trading away some of our D & W depth in the pipeline. It might also mean trading for a current #3C to see if they can seize an opportunity up a lineup. 

    Where do Addison and Rossi fit with this organization? IMO, this is an important offseason for both. Both NEED strength. I saw a glimmer of hope with Rossi at the end of the season. With Addison, I saw a player playing out the string just hoping for the end of the season so he could get away. I think Rossi will keep improving and put in the work. I'm not that convinced that Addison will. Addison will get qualified, it will be low. $2.1XXm is a 2nd round pick. $4.2XXm is a 1st & 3rd round pick. I'm not sure where anyone thinks that Addison's compensation level is, but for me it would be well under the 2nd round pick. Could Addison + 1st get us Oliver Moore? When Addison comes in for RFA negotiations, and I'd demand to see him if I'm Guerin, if he doesn't visibly appear as if he's gaining strength, I'd be looking for a trading partner immediately. If he does appear so, I'd be willing to give him another shot.

    In other news, Vasilevskiy has admitted he's human and not a robot. Interesting, probably blew the minds of half the NHL players right there. Those guys probably thought he just had some software problems this year. 

    Here's a question for you equipment guys. Many of the players have gone to wearing Kevelar socks just to prevent the risk of blades slicing them. Do these socks protect at all shots coming inbetween the padding, like in Ek's broken leg incident? While it's rare to get hit inbetween the pads, it does happen, is there a way to protect somewhat from this?

    • Like 2
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Rumors are out there about Elias Lindholm who is entering the last season of his contract. He is a C, a top 6 C with a cap number under $5m. Is this a guy we should target? Calgary has purged it's front office/coaching staff so they have no loyalty to their players at this time. 

    Could we afford a Lindholm extension? He is currently 28.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    CHL Update-Saskatoon is swept by Winnipeg. Clean score sheet for Lambos, just 1 shot registered. So, Winnipeg is in the finals of the WHL. For Lambos, this is a pretty big deal as he is also captaining the team. Hopefully they will get to faceoff against Kamloops and Bankier/Masters.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It's hard to call the season a failure when you are competing for the division title with what 5 games to go... and then have devastating injuries that deplete the very thing that was the singular cause of defeat in the playoffs.

    • Like 3
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Tough to lose Ek.  The guy that does everything including your best C.  Add in that the coaching staff still hasn't realized the PK needs fixing.  2 years in a row.  It's not the type of PK you run... it is all the fine details that must be adhered to by the players while on the PK.  Clearly the players do not understand the finer details of their responsibilities while on the PK.

    Fix those 2 things, which really doesn't involve much player wise other than getting healthy, and we do better.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    On 5/4/2023 at 1:17 PM, MNCountryLife said:

    Tough to lose Ek.  The guy that does everything including your best C.  Add in that the coaching staff still hasn't realized the PK needs fixing.  2 years in a row.  It's not the type of PK you run... it is all the fine details that must be adhered to by the players while on the PK.  Clearly the players do not understand the finer details of their responsibilities while on the PK.

    Fix those 2 things, which really doesn't involve much player wise other than getting healthy, and we do better.

    I think the PK is on the coaching staff. It's been a while, but remember both Brodin and Spurgeon used to play on a top 5 penalty kill in the league team for several seasons (Dumba did too, but didn't get a lot of PK time when that was going on). It's not like our players can't kill penalties, our special teams coach is terrible at his job and needs to be replaced ASAP.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Special teams talent isn't the Wild's problem, I agree. They had spells with zero PP ability last year too WITH Fiala. Therefore, I would agree the coaching and or practice has hurt the Wild's special teams. Taking tons of penalties, having crummy special teams play is on the coaches and players. Not the GM or organization if you asked me. Addison and Rossi don't solve the problem. Healthy Ek isn't 100% the answer. The Wild have to just keep working at improving. No one thing like roster moves or coaching change will be the silver bullet. Just keep working at it and don't produce pretentious PR videos...

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Absolutely a failure. Undoubtedly. Didn't the GM say this team could kick last year's teams ass? Well they both went out in 6 games with some no-shows from the top-6 in far too many games. 

    We knew they would likely make the playoffs. They generally do. That's not enough for this team anymore. Having Boldy and Kaprizov, that should be the minimum standard. We already know they can do it. 

    I get where Guerin wouldn't want to label it a failure because its going to be tough to improve the team from where it is now over the next couple seasons, but this was a series that was definitely winnable (we had another 2-1 lead with home-ice advantage!!) and we just collapsed with 3 consecutive losses featuring garbage special-teams and hardly any adjustments. Again.

    The players talked a good game about learning from last year's series and how it would be different this time, but they sure didn't play like it. Who showed improvement in the post-season from last year to this year? Absolutely no one. 

    Where's the upward momentum in that?

    That's what makes it a failure. 

    Edited by B1GKappa97
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    15 hours ago, Protec said:

    don't produce pretentious PR videos...

    Ya marketing got a little over their skis this year.  And a slogan can’t end with “first”.  Heard Dallas marketing goons changed it to “Grit First Round Exit” on the Twitter.  Doh!   Check and mate Dallas.  We’ll let ourselves out. 
    I’ve never associated this group as tough/gritty/physical.  Why we tried to re-brand the group the night before round 1 is head scratcher.  Foligno clearly took it too much to heart and went full tilt. From his jump punch to gladiator with helmet to 36 PIM’s in round 1…. Sit out the next few plays Marcus.  Figure out a way to help the team on score sheet instead of all the theatrics  (Reavo didn’t get the Grit memo.  He was nearly 100% useless.  Why would we bring him back?)

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...